Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Government Needs To Blaze The Trail On Living Wage


14 February 2013

Government Needs To Blaze The Trail On Living Wage

The Public Service Association is calling on the government, as the country’s largest employer and funder of public services, to take the lead and provide a living wage to workers.

The Living Wage campaign is calling for wage rates which families can realistically live on, which it calculates to be $18.40 an hour.

The PSA represents 58,000 workers in the public and state sectors, district health boards, local government and community public services.

It estimates about 16 percent of its members, mainly women, are not earning a living wage.

PSA National Secretary Richard Wagstaff says “there is a perception that public sector workers and those in DHBs and local government earn decent wages, but we have thousands of members such as librarians, DHB clerical and administration staff, public service workers, call centre employees and a raft of others who are earning less than $18.40 an hour.”

“They are on a low wage treadmill – battling higher housing, food and living costs while at the same time being offered minimal or zero percent pay increases.”

“It’s a case of public sector budget cuts translating into household budget cuts with many state sector agencies refusing to negotiate pay or across-the-board increases for staff as part of collective agreements,” he says.

Chronic underfunding of many community public services is also denying thousands of people such as home support and disability support workers a living wage.

Richard Wagstaff says a living wage would make a huge difference to these workers who put in long hours and provide high levels of professional care, yet earn minimum wages.

The PSA also believes any additional costs to the government in providing a living wage could be partially offset by the savings it could make.

“If workers are given an opportunity to earn a living wage, they would not have to rely so heavily on government benefits such as Working for Families and accommodation allowances. Providing a living wage should be seen as a valuable investment for everyone and one which will go some way towards narrowing the increasing gap between rich and poor,” says Mr Wagstaff.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Syriza Win Greek Election: The Rumblings Of The Left

Binoy Kampmark: The left – and by this, the genuine, progressive, unmanagerial left – is getting noisy. The Greek elections are upon us, with the similar challenges being played out from 2012. There are fears of Grexit – a heavy breathing departure from the eurozone that will do everything to rattle the central currency mechanism that has been taking a battering...

Much of this has been triggered by the moral outrage and political response of the left grouping centred on Syriza of Greece. The movement has been said to have similarities to a new constellation of power in Spain, led by Podemos. Syriza, led by Alexis Tsipras, has promised to renegotiate the terms of Greece’s 240 billion euro international bailout arrangements. Both parties point out to the distance between elector and the elected, a creeping death of democratic accountability in favour of market propriety. More>>

 

Transport: Auckland Looks To Light Rail

The Board of Auckland Transport has called for an investigation into a light rail network, which could relieve traffic congestion on some of the region’s busiest roads. This stems from work in 2012 (the City Centre Future Access study) which responded to a government request to develop a robust and achievable solution for access to the CBD. More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith's Claims Don't Match Evidence - Greens

The Motu group’s research into the impacts of planning rules looked at the costs related to housing development but not the benefits of environmental protections and does not recommend significant changes to the RMA to reduce the cost of new house builds. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Similarities Between John Key And David Cameron

For years now, David Cameron has been the closest available thing to a mentor/analogue to our Prime Minister, such that Key watchers could be interested in an analysis of Cameron that appeared in the British press over the Christmas break. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Ian Fletcher Resignation & GCSB’s New Role

It may well be that after being shoulder-tapped in Queensland for the GCSB job, three years of living in Wellington has been enough for Fletcher and his family, given that the pending review of the GCSB would have required an even longer commitment from him. Three years of Wellington’s weather is enough for anyone... More>>

ALSO:

Ian Apperley: $10m Or $100m For New Wellington Council IT System?

I feel a Tui Billboard coming on. I commented the other day that it looked like the Council’s Ninth big project was a potential $100 million plus... The Mayor has responded: “I am reassured by the Chief Executive and by Anthony Wilson that the proposed budget is in the region of $10 million.” More>>

ALSO:

Southern Ocean:
Navy Intercepts Illegal Fishing Vessels

Foreign Minister Murray McCully today put illegal fishing vessels operating in the Southern Ocean on notice and vowed to take action against their owners. “As part of a multi-agency operation, the HMNZS WELLINGTON has intercepted two vessels claiming to be flagged to Equatorial Guinea, fishing illegally in the Southern Ocean.” Mr McCully says. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news